Communications Strategies

Civic Intelligence: Will We Be Smart Enough, Soon Enough?

Civic intelligence is the term that refers to the collective intelligence of people as applied towards shared challenges in a fair and effective manner. Lacking a commonly used name, civic intelligence, though it already exists as a phenomenon, will not receive the attention it deserves. Civic intelligence in a general way measures how well a community, nation, or society responds.


Civic intelligence can be intentionally cultivated. What makes some societies smart? Why do some societies respond intelligently to shared challenges and some do not? What is the role of educational institutions, government, the media, etc.? Civic intelligence simply the next generation of democratic practice: Democracy as a way of promoting the collective thoughts and actions of citizens.


Civic intelligence is more of a theme than a precise recommendation. It represents a way to describe both how societies come to make decisions now but an idealized way to make better decisions in the future.


For more information, see the Civic Intelligence pattern ( from the Liberating Voices pattern language project (, an online collaborative effort to build a "pattern language" for bottom-up citizen-led information and communication initiatives.



23 votes
Idea No. 1059